Friday, October 11, 2013

Focus Friday: Gale Virtual Reference Library

The Gale Virtual Reference Library is one of the most convenient and comprehensive databases that Richland Library offers, and DCCCD students can access it from anywhere there is an Internet connection.

Image of a person reading a reference book The GVRL contains hundreds of full-text eBooks covering art, biography, business, education, environment, history, law, literature, medicine, multicultural studies, nation and world topics, religion, science, social science and technology.

My love for this database comes from its simplicity in browsing and retrieval. Use the search box located at the top of the home page or browse a particular eBook by clicking on the book itself, which will then display the table of contents.

The GVRL has many features, and allows students to save articles as they browse. By simply clicking the “Save Article” button located below each search result citation, the article is added to the “Saved Articles” list. Users can add up to 50 articles, which is great for writing in-depth research papers. From there, users can email saved articles to themselves or other users.

Create a Gale Bookmark in order to access saved articles after you have logged out.

Other features include the “Translate Article,” “Listen,” and “Download MP3” buttons. The “Translate Article” button includes a drop down list of 12 languages including Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), and French. Once the language is selected, a new window pops up with the translated article.

The “Listen” tool is also very impressive as the accent of the program reading the words sounds like a native speaker is reading. Users can even download articles and listen a later time. This is quite an amazing tool, and I think it is very good for people who are trying to improve in any language.

One of the most useful features I found was the citation tool, which will generate a citation of the article for you. Use this tool with discretion as some of the citations may have errors.

Working with this database is a great experience when used to its full potential. Check it out and see what you think.

Access it by going to the Richland College Library webpage, clicking on the green "Databases" tab, clicking on the “G” on the A-Z list, and clicking on the link to Gale Virtual Reference Library. (A log on is required outside of the library.)

C. Haynes

No comments: